What a great time of year – all the excitement in children’s faces, parties to attend, time spent helping those less fortunate, great food, and lots of running around shopping for food and presents. It’s a time of year that requires just a little more thought about what you are doing when it comes to security. So go enjoy your family, friends, and colleagues, but ask yourself a few questions from time to time and when you leave your house or office…
Here is a “Holiday Top Ten Checklist” from a security perspective that might just make your holiday season a bit brighter if you keep these in mind as you enjoy this wonderful time of year.
- Check the doors – both when you are leaving AND when you are home. This is a season of high theft so don’t encourage or make it easy for someone to enter your house, with or without you in it – keep ALL your doors locked.
- Get extra keys made. If you have guests from out of town or the kids home from college, rather than leaving the door open for them when they come home, just spend a few dollars and make another half-dozen keys to hand out – just get them back when everyone leaves and your house will be much safer.
- When in doubt, lock it in the safe. If you have a safe and you are buying some expensive jewelry for Christmas, just throw it in the safe until the big day, out of sight is always a great idea for not “tempting” would-be robbers.
- If it’s big, ask the merchant to hold it at their location as long as you can get away with – maybe up until Christmas Eve. Stores have restarted “layaway” programs, so let them keep the risk and pick it up at the last minute to avoid worry. Thieves usually stake out a property before they hit and they are looking to see if it is worthwhile based on what they see.
- Be extra cautious if you are using any of the social media tools. It might be fun to post on your facebook wall that you are heading out to your company party, but it would be far better to tell them about it after the fact. This is an announcement to thieves. Same with twitter or other tools, tell them after the fact, not before to avoid any risk of the word spreading in a bad circle.
- Be careful when you answer the door. If you are home alone, don’t answer it unless you know who it is before you answer the door. If someone is going to stop by, then ask them when so you don’t answer the door before they get there. Also, most people have text messaging today – simply ask them to text you when they arrive so you can answer the door when they arrive and not for a stranger.
- Not everyone is who they say they are. This time of year lots of people hire “stalkers” to go around neighborhoods and businesses to offer so called “free holiday services” because you are a good customer. You don’t get the free service right away, they schedule it. But what they are really doing is asking you to let them in to check out your house for possible items, find out when you are going to be around, and get a variety of other information to help them rob your house. Always check with the company if you have any questions, usually before you let them in the door is a good idea.
- Don’t leave packages in your car overnight if you leave your car out overnight. Besides the possibility of increased car theft, it is easy to break, grab, and run before anyone is the wiser…especially at 3am.
- Add a monitored security system and monitor it through this time of year at a minimum. There might be times you don’t need to have it monitored but this is a great time to have someone ready to dispatch the police or fire units.
- If you are a helpful citizen and collect presents for others less fortunate, don’t tell everyone the date and time when you will be delivering these “truckloads” of presents. Generally, the less information you put out in the market the safer you will become.
We have lots more to give you but these 10 should at least get you thinking in the right direction. If you would like to hear more, feel free to give us a call and we’ll give you even more that might be helpful to your particular situation. He hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday…